Check the water before giving it to kids, because it is doing THIS to their bodies!

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Shockingly, India has more stunted children than Nigeria, Pakistan, China and the Republic of Congo combined, with 48 million under the age of five!

This may not come to you as a surprise, but dirty water in our colonies is leading to stunted growth in our kids.

This was proved by a study conducted by Water Aid. They reported that India is home to the world’s largest number of stunted children due to dirty water, poor hygiene and even lack of toilets.

This comes as a sad news because even though we are economically becoming more stable, India has more stunted children than Nigeria, Pakistan, China and the Republic of Congo combined, with 48 million under the age of five. This is about 30 percent of the global total, the WaterAid report stated.

Another major problem was open defecation, which is still quite prevalent in India.

“India has the highest number of people in the world… practising open defecation, which spreads deadly diseases and makes children more susceptible to diarrhoea and other infections,” Megan Wilson-Jones, WaterAid health and hygiene analyst reportedly said.

“So it is no surprise that so many children in India suffer from stunted growth,” she added.

What does ‘stunted’ mean?

Stunted grown is a critical form of malnourishment in children where they are shorter than the average height they should have at their age. This is an irreversible condition and is pretty much visible and stagnant from the age of two.

Such kids can also be physically and mentally slower than their peers. But how will you identify if your kid has stunted growth?

Continue reading to see how much growth of height and weight is considered ‘normal’ and what you can do to help the growth.

How to spot stunted growth?

In order to understand abnormality, you need to first understand the process of normal growth in kids. You can either ask the doctor or calculate by yourself. However this is the average ‘normal’ height and weight pattern of Indian kids.

stunted growth

Growth rate of girls (left) and boys (right)

As a parent, it is important for you to track your child’s growth because that way you can easily assess and spot abnormalities. But know that, babies triple their birth weight when they are one year and by the age of 8 or 9 years your child is able to attain almost 75 percent of his or her adult height.

So how do you ensure normal growth for your kids?

Ensure normal growth in kids: guide for parents

By following a few simple steps you can ensure that your child has normal and not stunted growth.

  • Since dirty water is one of the major causes of this problem, make sure that there are no dirty water streams outside your house. Plant trees around your house if possible and do not pour chemicals in your sink because that water is being re-filtered back into your water systems.
  • Ensure proper nutrition for your kids and give them foods that contain minerals, vitamins, calcium, proteins, carbs and fats to power their tiny bodies
  • Ensure that your kids are well rested. So while toddlers usually sleep 10 to 13 hours each night, school-age kids and preteens need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night. Your teen would need 9 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Get your child to move and exercise and even play games outside the house. On an average, your child needs about 60 minutes of physical movement and exercise so you must encourage them to take up a sport that will also keep them engaged.
  • If you find that all of these are not working then your next best bet is to visit a doctor and consult with them. Your child could be suffering from an underlying problem that needs immediate attention and detection. So don’t wait on growth to just ‘happen on its own.’

Read: 10 good habits to develop before your kids become teenagers

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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